The Great Success of New Belgium Brewery
New Belgium Brewery was started in 1991 with a couple named Jeff Lebesch and Kim Jordan in their home at their basement. Jeff Lebesch was an electrical engineer and a home brewer while Kim Jordan is a single mom of two and a social worker on that time. The couple met in Colorado in 1990 and built their life together. Since then they planned to build a business and they named it New Belgium Brewery. They took it out $60,000.00 from their second mortgage to buy equipment for the business
The first two beers they produced the Fat Tire, a belgian ale, Abbey, and a Belgium dubbel. Jeff Lebesch named his first beer a “Fat Tire” when he was in Europe for a mountain bike trip and the nickname for the mountain bike is a “Fat Tire”. He named this beer as he will always remember he was there for a mountain trip while Abbey is a monastic representation of Belgium. They started brewing once in a week and delivered it by station wagon and sometimes knock on the neighborhood to sell the beer. The production of beer grew so fast that the couple realize the house become a beer production and not a house anymore. Their first year annual revenue is $150,000.00. Not too bad for the first year. They noticed also that they cannot do just only two of them. So they hired and trained staff until their number of employees increase to 800. In 1996 they implement an open book management for all the employees and give them an opportunity to own the business 100%. They belief if they will take care of each other the business will be healthier. Every August they went to retreat to meet their core values and beliefs, “To manifest our love and talent by crafting our customers’ favorite brands and proving business can be a force for good”.
Kim stayed in the company and Jeff Lebesch retired in 2001